Social Media Working for 1% for the Tetons

1% for the Tetons' "One28" campaignFor the past couple of weeks, a small team has been working on 1% for the Tetons“One28 Campaign.” This campaign has been quite intensive for the past two weeks now and will continue through June 5, 2010, when we hope to have raised $300,000 for 19 very worthy grant projects that will help sustain the environment in the Tetons region.

It actually began late last year, with the understanding that the 1% Web site needed a complete overhaul, (more…)

Reflecting On A Lack Of Marketing Talent And The Latest Marketing Executives Networking Group Report

It’s long been the perception that the marketing department is often the first to take a hit when business goes south. But a report from the Marketing Executives Networking Group claims that, in fact, marketing departments are going understaffed not because of layoffs, but because there is a shortage of executive talent. Adding insult to injury, the report states that the situation is expected to worsen as baby-boomers continue to retire and there are fewer executive level marketers available to fill those positions.

What does that have to do with marketing to small businesses and organizations in Jackson Hole? I’m not exactly sure, but I can draw a few parallels. While this isn’t exactly a business community rife with executive level positions, I too have seen a lack of marketing talent within the businesses with which I work. This isn’t a criticism of those businesses; rather, it’s a result of two patterns I see within small businesses and organizations locally. The first is that often times small businesses can’t afford to hire an employee who can be dedicated solely to marketing. (But when they do, that marketing person is often over-worked and overwhelmed by the demands of the job.) And when they do fill a marketing position, it is often with a person who doesn’t have much marketing experience.

The second reason there seems to be a lack of marketing talent here, and the main reason I see a shortage of any professional talent in small communities ( around 20,000 people) is because it’s not a real attractive market for young professionals on a career track. Now, Jackson Hole and other similar mountain towns offer a slight exception to that rule due to the exceptional lifestyle available. But because of the popularity of great lifestyle opportunities, there is another factor that is somewhat related to the retiring baby-boomer issue mentioned in the MENG report. In our case, retiring baby-boomers—albeit those with a lot of money—are retiring to or buying second homes here, adding to the over-inflated real estate market, driving up prices, and making it difficult for many, including young professionals, to be able to afford to live here. That trend isn’t just taking a toll on marketers in particular or young professionals in general; it’s hitting the majority of our working community members at every job level and age.

But back to the issue of marketing talent. Ours is a professional community of what Richard Florida calls the “creative class.” We have a seemingly disproportionate number of artists, graphic designers, software developers, and all-around entrepreneurs. It is a strong business community and one that seems to be weathering the recent economic downturn fairly well. But the lack of marketing talent remains a bit of a mystery to me. It is a niche I never intended to fill when I took my first communications job here, and one that still appears to be relatively empty eight years later now that I’ve started my own marketing firm. I’m not sure how that relates to the Marketing Executives Networking Group report, but there does seem to be a correlation.


Overconnectivity: Societal Bane or Marketing Challenge?

David Koretz’s article today on Media Post’s Publishing Insider blog, “Please Stop Talking,” seems to have touched a nerve. His post borders on the heretical and I, for one, couldn’t agree more. He makes two main points: that connectivity has caused us to be a society suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHC) of pandemic proportions, and that this level of ADHC is posing a serious challenge for marketers.

“Being ‘connected’ sucks,” he says. “It is highly overrated and getting old fast.”

Well, I might suggest that being connected doesn’t necessarily suck, but being over-connected certainly has its drawbacks. (more…)

Reflecting On Local, Small Town Marketing Issues…Right Before Vacation

It’s only Wednesday and already it’s been a very busy week. Why is it that you’re busiest just before heading out on vacation? In an effort to not let MarketGreener go fallow over vacation, I’ll be taking the laptop with me and will attempt to post some vacation-specific topics. I’m anticipating many opportunities to blast the cruise ship industry in particular and mass tourism in general.

On Thursday we escape the confines of Jackson Hole and the United States to visit our northern cousin Canada. Just in time for the Independence Day holiday, no less. On Saturday we—my small, nuclear family—embark on a coastline cruise to Alaska with my wife’s entire “immediate” family to celebrate her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Now, in my family, “immediate” refers to nine of us at most (including my wife, my brother’s wife, and our children), but in her family, “immediate” includes 30 of us. Insert than number into the cruise ship atmosphere and it could get a little crazy. Should be interesting.

In the mean time, I’ve been finishing up a couple of projects that I hope to be able to write a little about in the near future. In particular, while my research focus has been what’s happening with marketing in the online world on a national scale, my business focus has turned out to be local in nature. It is something I knew would happen once my business got up and running, but there is a much clearer line drawn between how marketing is written about—and apparently practiced—on a national scale and the practices embraced on a local level. There is definitely room to exposit on this rather large gap.

As a side note, my clients are shaping up so far to be those in the local non-profit and education areas. Perhaps not always the most lucrative fields locally, but these organizations seem to be fairly well funded for programming but don’t always have the staff or experience to handle marketing. As I begin to write more about my experiences, I’ll be looking for other examples of how marketers are dealing with these local, real-world issues. If you have some of your own to share, please pass them along.